The Harvey Weinstein affair has sparked public outrage and an outpouring of #MeToo stories on social media. It may also spur collective solidarity among women workers who increasingly see sexual violence as an issue not just of gender but of economic justice as well. Is the labor movement listening? We speak with Ariane Hegewisch of the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research to understand the ramifications of sexual violence in the workplace for labor policy and the labor movement as a whole, and how workers and their unions can go beyond the “whisper network” to mobilize against sexual abuse at work.
We also highlight more positive news about DC’s groundbreaking bill to decriminalize sex work, unionizing graduate workers in Chicago, and UK fast food workers having a very British McStrike. With recommended reading on labor struggles as feminist struggles, and whisper networks as public weapons.
If you think our work is worth supporting as we soldier on through Trumplandia, please consider becoming a sustaining member of Belabored or donating or subscribing to Dissent. Help keep us going for the next 137 episodes!
University of Chicago grad students vote to unionize (Chicago Tribune)
Ariane Hegewisch, Program Director on Employment & Earnings at Institute for Women’s Policy and Research
Violence and Safety (IWPR)
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (National Women’s Law Center)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Sarah: Dayna Tortorici, Lean Out: Feminist struggles are labor struggles (Harper’s)
Michelle: Alex Press, It’s time to weaponize the “whisper network” (Vox)